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Since 1998, The Shaken Baby Alliance has provided valuable forensic investigative training programs for professionals including law enforcement, child protection, medical practitioners, and legal professionals related to child welfare issues. In 2012, based on the success of the forensic child abuse investigation program, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services asked The Shaken Baby Alliance to develop an Advanced Forensic Investigation Training program related to crimes against the elderly and persons with disabilities. Due to the success of the elder abuse forensic investigation program we were then asked to develop a training related to the Mental Health and Physical Conditions in the Elderly.
The multidisciplinary (MDT) advanced forensic investigative training provided by The Shaken Baby Alliance enhance local MDT capabilities, builds community collaboration, and aids in the identification and development of resources for professionals.  Developing an MDT training and collaboration platform to strengthen and develop the community response to the assessment and investigation of suspected cases of child abuse, child fatalities, and child neglect, is vital to successful legal outcomes in child abuse cases. 
An evidence-based curriculum, updated and reviewed yearly, is utilized by a faculty including medical providers, law enforcement, educators, and consultants who are recognized as state and national experts in the field of forensics.  All faculty actively work cases of child abuse/neglect and child deaths.  This ensures our faculty are utilizing and learning from current challenges and teaching current forensic practices.  Sample training modules are (*= required): 

1) Medical Aspects of Child Abuse*
2) Infant Deaths:  What the First Responder Needs to Know
3) Abusive Head Trauma Cases:  The Critical Importance of the First Responder
4) SIDS/Infant Death:  Risk Reduction Practices 
5) Child Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities
6) Forensic Investigative Techniques:  The 12 Elements of the Successful Forensic Investigation©* 
7) Child Death Cases:  Natural/Accidental Death vs. Homicide 
8) Forensic Pathology of Child Physical Abuse  
9) Interviews in Child Physical Abuse – Details, Dos, & Don’ts 
10) Timeline Development – Using Visuals to Tell the Story*
11) Building the Strong Legal Case:  The Devil is in the Details 
12) The WHOLE Truth About Abusive Head Trauma (Presented by Rob Parrish, J.D.)
13) Medical Child Abuse (Presented by Inv. Mike Weber)
14) Tools You Can Use:  Resources for the MDT*

Attendees leave with a strong foundation of the medical aspects in child abuse including mechanism of injury, timing of injuries, and the ability to compare the history with the injury.  Participants receive instruction on how to utilize the 12 Elements of the Successful Forensic Investigation©.  Through a block of instruction entitled Tools You Can Use:  Resources for the MDT, communities will be able to better leverage existing resources to develop strong legal cases.  Community collaboration is built by the MDT and other community stakeholders planning the training modules, attending the training together, and hosting a team building opportunity during or near the training date.

We train nationally and internationally and we will gladly work with your team to obtain appropriate continuing education credits.  For references or additional information about our training program, please fill out the information at this link, email, or call  817-882-8686. We look forward to hearing from you!


  • "After working on a couple of these types of cases we contacted Bonnie Armstrong of the Shaken Baby Alliance to see how we could improve. She assembled an A-Team of specialists, each in their own fields, who delivered top-notch training to not only our team, but people from all around the state. Their approach ranged in appeal from police officer to medical examiner, to prosecutor, and everything in between. We all collectively have a better understanding of how to proceed in these difficult cases now as well as a better understanding as to what other members of our team will do. I hate that there will be another case--but when it comes, we'll be ready."

    Sean Curtis, Investigator District Attorney's Office, Fort Collins, CO

  • During Hurricane Harvey, some long term and new families contacted the Alliance for assistance with housing, specialized formulas for their G-tube fed children, and specialized equipment. One mother of 17 year old son, who is wheelchair bound from his AHT injuries, weighs almost as much as the mother, and functions as a 2 year old, shared her harrowing tale. She had to climb up a ladder to get both her son and the wheelchair to the roof of their home away from rapidly rising waters. She helped her son up, and devised a pulley system with a few household items to hoist his specialized wheelchair up to the roof. After being loaded into a small metal rescue boat, the mom discovered that her child’s iPod, one of his most prized possessions, had been lost during the rescue. Her son is non-verbal. He screams a very high pitched cry/scream when agitated. Without the iPod music to calm him, he was in a state of constant screaming at the shelter. The mother called SBA literally in tears as his screams aggravated others in the shelter. The mom requested assistance in getting a new iPod, help in finding a shelter with a specialized hospital bed, and obtaining the durable medical equipment her son needed immediately in order to function. Through our network of families and professionals, we were able to have the mother and son moved to a private home, obtain a temporary wheelchair and a stander. .

    Bonnie Armstrong

  • SBA staff took the grandparents of one of our shaken babies to a doctor in Dallas. Her grandparents are now adopting her since she was abused. They are so poor it’s scary, but they love that baby! They are from the little country town of Hamilton, TX, and terrified to drive in Dallas where the specialist the baby needed to see has her office. SBA staff met them in Benbrook to drive them. After the appointment, we drove them back and told them to meet us at Walmart. We took them inside and bought 3 cases of diapers, wipes, 4 cases of formula, some toys, pajamas, and some clothes for the baby. We checked out and the total was a little over $500. We filled up their beat up 1972 Chevrolet truck that’s held together with baling wire and a prayer. The grandmother started crying and the grandfather just said there was no way they could pay me back. I explained they didn’t have to pay me back because very generous people help me so I can help the families. They gave us really big hugs and left with that precious baby. I know they will take good care of her and we will be with them along the way

    Bonnie Armstrong

  • I attended your course for Advanced Techniques in Joint Child Abuse Investigations in Georgetown a while back and, to this day, find it to be one of the best training courses I have been to. I would like to potentially host this course at the Cedar Park Police Department sometime in 2018.

    Officer Coleman, Training, Cedar Park Police

  • When I served as the 31st District Attorney I had a rural 5 county jurisdiction with limited resources to assist with complicated cases.  I reached out to the Shaken Baby Alliance for help with a case involving the death of a 3 month old baby and could not have been more grateful for all the help I received from them.  They quickly provided me with referrals to experts in the field of abusive head trauma, provided me with a doll made to the baby’s height and weight specifications and gave me assistance in trial strategy and cross examination of defense witnesses.

    Attorney Lynn Switzer

  • CASE CONSULTATION The Alliance consulted on a child abuse case in January 2017 in Brownwood, Texas. Breyla Ann Bryant, a one month infant, died at the hands of her father, 19 year old Jekaris Lee Bryant. SBA technical assistance was critical in showing the baby died of Shaken Baby Syndrome/blunt force trauma injuries and not from choking. Bryant was convicted of capital murder charge and given life without parole. After the trial, SBA met with the jury. The jury and the prosecutor noted that visuals and the expert provided by SBA made the difference in understanding the case facts. The maternal grandparents and aunt of the baby were grateful for the assistance provided in seeking justice for little Breyla. This case highlights the complex needs of victim children and families and the professionals involved in the case


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